(b. 1697, Venezia, d. 1768, Venezia)
Eton College Chapelc. 1754
Oil on canvas, 61,5 x 107,5 cm
National Gallery, London
The college and its chapel are depicted as though seen from the east, across the river Thames. A number of the buildings near to them seem to have been invented by Canaletto, and the scene as a whole, which follows a composition established in a drawing by the artist, therefore appears to be a subtle capriccio. Canaletto had visited and painted nearby Windsor Castle in 1747, and could then have made a study of the college which he later chose to integrate with other features.
The view may not be an accurate record, but it is carefully composed, with the tree framing it at the left and a darkened foreground leading the eye of the viewer on into the middle-distance. The figures who fish, punt and stroll by the water effectively animate the scene.